Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mary Balogh - Slightly Dangerous

All of London is abuzz over the imminent arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the reclusive, cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the most glittering social event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic love affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention.
But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye—and she was the only female in the room who wasn’t even trying. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke…all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.
What red-blooded woman wouldn’t enjoy a tumble in the bedsheets with a consummate lover—with no strings and no questions asked. An infuriating lady with very definite views on men, morals, and marriage, Christine confounds Wulfric at every turn. Yet even as the lone wolf of the Bedwyn clan vows to seduce her any way he can, something strange and wonderful is happening. Now for a man who thought he’d never lose his heart, nothing less than love will do.
With her trademark wit, riveting storytelling, and sizzling sexual sparks, Mary Balogh once again brings together two polar opposites: an irresistible, high-and-mighty aristocrat and the impulsive, pleasure-loving woman who shows him what true passion is all about. A man and a woman so wrong for each other, it can result only in the perfect match.

Comment: After reading the other books in the series and liking them all and after realizing this would be the installment most people talked about and wanted to read, I confess I was expecting an amazing love story and in that regard, I was not disappointed. But I also think this wasn't as amazing to me as I wanted.

The final installment of the Bedwyn saga series finally has Wulfric as the main character. Wulfric is the important duke of Bewcastle and he has been key in all the other books somehow, at least to ensure his siblings all got their HEA. Now it's Wulfric's turn to find happiness but he certainly didn't expect that to happen at a house party he didn't even want to attend in the first place. There, he meets mrs Christine Derrick, a widow who, unlike most ladies of the ton, is sunny and cheerful and doesn't care about how she looks to others. She is everything a man like Wulfric wouldn't want in a woman, much less a potential duchess. But as time goes by, his curiosity develops to something more and unless, he is mistaken, she is having similar feelings...

I was really eager to get to this book. This story promised a lot and I was so curious to see how the author would finally give Wulfric a well deserved HEA. Yes, he hasn't been described as the friendlier of characters throughout the series but with a few glimpses here and there, we came to like and respect him. I really wanted him to be as happy as all his siblings now are.
I also confess I imagined a few scenarios and, after having finished the book, I did like how things ended and I liked the emotional journey Wulfric had to overcome to really grab his happiness. I just feel a little disappointed with the heroine. I mean, I like her, I like how sweet she can be and how they do make a good couple but... I would have preferred a slightly quieter heroine for Wulfric.

Wulfric is an amazing character. Very unassuming because he is quiet and reserved and keeps his feelings to himself. But he is a human being and rejoices and suffers as everyone else. I like it when characters are quieter because I am shy and try to act more quiet and look fro non exuberant protagonists as well. Wulfric, after helping his family is portrait of  lonely man but he deserves as much happiness as everyone else. I wanted happiness for him and Christine is that for him but her cheerful personality while being the perfect contrast to his quieter nature is at the same time the reason why I didn't always like her.

Christine is loud and uncaring about others' opinion and has a sunny disposition despite the less than good things she has felt and lived through. I did like she wasn't conventional and how she could bring Wulfric's personal side to light instead of him only having/showing his duke persona. In fact, art of the issues between them, why their relationship isn't as easy to happen is the class differences between them. But a fantasy like scenario can taka care of that. 
I just thought that Christine was a little too unconcerned about her actions and that can be just her simple way and she's not fussy, but for the time, she could still be the light of the party and not being an almost caricature, which she did to me sometimes. A huge part of the plot conflict is related to this, out idea of what is/was conventional and expected and I must sadly admit I prefer historical heroines to be more aware of themselves in a way Christine wasn't.

The best part of this novel, as always, is the family relationships and the adorable and  fascinating scenes with all of the siblings. The HEA also made me very happy although the base of the conflict, the problems that it originated and how it affected Wulfric and Christine's relationship didn't end up to be so serious as I imagined but, of course, nothing like happening in real life, which I'm sure is terrible.
Nevertheless, this was a great series, I'm looking for to see them again in the final novella and in the sequel series in the future.
Grade: 8/10

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